Asked on Dec 20, 2015

Refinishing a leather sofa

by Royann
We have a very comfortable leather sofa, which is in need of being refinished in some manner. The structure of the sofa is still very solid but it looks pretty bad. I have tried sofa covers but they just don't work well and I love the leather look. Any suggestions on how to return this piece of furniture to something 'like new'?
  24 answers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 21, 2015
    Not keen on leather as nothing will stick to it, like a cozy blanket, etc. I would see about getting it reupholstered in a durable fabric.
  • Nana moving on Nana moving on on Dec 21, 2015
    Leather can be repainted with leather Die. It has to be cleaned and degreased 1st then dried. I can't find the site yet for you but they have a do it yourself kit you can purchase to do it. check out Leather world technologies
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Dec 21, 2015
    Is it worn or dirty? I would go to a leather shop and ask them for guidance. I only have leather furniture in my house and anytime I need a cleaner they have been right on each time.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 21, 2015
    Here is a tutorial that explains the process on fixing your couch.
  • Suzanne Lee Suzanne Lee on Dec 21, 2015
    I too like the idea of cleaning and dying it. Better get good instructions and advice or pay a pro. Do the dying in the garage on a tarp.
  • Lydia Miller Lydia Miller on Dec 21, 2015
    I used Leather Refinish and a sponge to apply. Can check it out online. Comes in 4 oz, very easy to use.
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  • Pauliegirl1 Pauliegirl1 on Dec 21, 2015
    Leather is tricky!! We have an 20 yr old car, that we keep in the garage and drive on occasion.....the front seats were "worn" so we called a "professional leather dyer"...he did his job, we followed his advice....which was to leave them for 3 days, we did....and now after about 6-8 months, they look WORSE than they were!! Do a LOT of research!!!! That is our experience with dyeing leather!!
  • Kathy Cerwin Kathy Cerwin on Dec 21, 2015
    I saw a post on here weeks ago about painting it.
  • Lisa Sheppard Lisa Sheppard on Dec 21, 2015
    I painted mine with watered down latex paint
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  • Joy Joy on Dec 21, 2015
    I used a tip I saw somewhere. Use olive oil. Just put on a cloth, rub it in then wipe and buff with a clean cloth. It worked for us. Covered scratches and brought the leather to its original look. Vegetable oi can be used also.
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Dec 21, 2015
    There are 2 products...One called Honey Leather Cleaner & the other is called Honey Leather Conditioner they can be found on I've used them on all kinds of leather from boots to leather chairs. You will want to get the biggest sizes available since your couch is big.
  • Galen smith Galen smith on Dec 21, 2015
    Available at good shoe repair shops is a cream called Meltonin, I believe. It comes in dozens (well, perhaps 20) of shades, so you can dye and refresh at the same time. All leather goods should be "creamed" from the time of purchase and every year or so, so cracking can be prevented from the start.
    • Royann Royann on Dec 21, 2015
      Wthank you, this sounds like a good solution for me. The "discoloration" is actually the colored surface being "scrapped" off due to our beloved and spoiled dogs 😳☺️ I'm going to try and find it!
  • JoAnn Dibeler JoAnn Dibeler on Dec 21, 2015
    Saddle Soap or Neetsfoot oil?
  • Paulette Hay Paulette Hay on Dec 21, 2015
    I ordered a leather recoloring dye that is made in England and plan to use on my couch and loveseat that were saddle tan and good share had gotten dry and severely sun faded so hope it works. I don't recall the name and have not done it yet but it sounds like it will make them look like new. Will keep you posted on that!
    • Royann Royann on Dec 21, 2015
      Please do! I'd be interested in your thoughts. Thanks!
  • Sue c. Sue c. on Dec 21, 2015
    Angelus leather products has cleaners, paint, dye and finishers that will do a fabulous job. They have excellent tutorials on You Tube. Also they sell in 1 oz. and 4oz sizes so you won't be stuck with lots of product left over. I used the cleaners, paint and finisher on a scratched up leather couch. I figured if paint didn't work the couch would be pitched anyway. But the products were great and 3 yrs later the couch is wearing fine. Good luck.
  • Lorraine McKay Lorraine McKay on Dec 21, 2015
    You might find this suggestion strange but it worked for us. We were trying to do a surprise makeover for someone on a very limited budget. It was summertime so we took her very worn leather sofas outside and spray painted them a color as close to the original as possible. They took a couple of days to dry, but then they were beautiful and looked nearly new. She has a large family and the kids are hard on furniture but the finish has lasted well. The spray paint was much cheaper than the leather dye and there's lots of color choice.
    • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Dec 22, 2015
      @Lorraine McKay Yes, I have used spray paint on stained tufted upholstered furniture to very good effect, inc. metallic paint. Always good when you have little to lose, but lots to gain!
  • Sheri L. Putnam-Cline Sheri L. Putnam-Cline on Dec 22, 2015
    My problem was when the cats jumped up, front & hind leg claws were doing damage. I bought 3 sheep sherpas (skinned sheep hides with the fur still on). I got them at a leather shop for $35 each. They come in different colors and I went with black.
  • Mary Young Mary Young on Dec 22, 2015
    Try the same color shoe polish. Worked well in our car.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Dec 23, 2015
    You could alter any colour (tone down overly bright paint, etc.) you use by applying subsequent layers of coloured wax. Heirloom Traditions have lots of colours; spray wax very easy to spread around and create patina.
  • Jbozz Jbozz on Dec 23, 2015
    Try a Mr.Clean Miracle Eraser. Curious to see how it would work. Someone I know tried it on vinyl flooring they could not get clean and it worked. It's cheap enough and if it doesn't work no harm done.
  • Pam Jackson Pam Jackson on Dec 27, 2015
    I love CPR leather cleaner. Makes my black leather sofa look new but have never tried it on white. You can find it at Bed Bath and Beyond
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Dec 29, 2015
    It does look invitingly comfy. Yes, first clean it with leather cleaner (check auto supplies for a variety of products that clean leather/vinyl.) Then a good wax shoe polish, let set, then buff with soft bristled shoe brush, reapply a couple times. Then use a leather sealer over top and it will hold up much longer than if you do not seal it!
  • Maureen Maureen on Dec 29, 2015
    we used car leather paint to redo our black leather sofa..looks great
  • Cynthia Cynthia on Jan 08, 2016
    I had a carpet and upholstery cleaning company and we would clean most all leather with ivory soap and warm water and a sponge (Shhhh, don't tell anyone as we made a fortune using this). DO NOT USE THIS ON SUEDE OR LEATHER THAT COULD OR WOULD LEAVE WATER MARKS. It did an amazing job and the lanolin in the soap conditioned the leather leaving it soft and supple. Just towel dry after cleaning, don't rinse it off as the residue from the Ivory soap conditions the leather. After a thorough cleaning, you could dye the leather with some "Spray leather paint". Just be sure to use the "Prep Product" first and follow the instructions! I suggest spray painting it with this leather paint as close to the original color as possible.DON'T ATTEMPT to change the entire color. Buy or make a slip cover for this. After cleaning you could buy some leather restorers and conditioners. The trick of preserving leather, is not to neglect it for too long! Make sure you keep leather out of the sun and keep it conditioned. Cracked leather is not pretty and to my knowledge can not be restored. Leather is such a great choice for households with allergies, children or pets - easy clean up for spills, hair and messes!